WorldHead of the company that fired 900 employees for Zoom apologizes but...

Head of the company that fired 900 employees for Zoom apologizes but keeps layoffs


Vishal Garg, CEO of Better.com, took just three minutes to fire more than 900 employees of this US home loan company through a video call from Zoom, made on the 1st of last month. “If you’re on this conference call, you’re in the unfortunate group that will get fired. Your work ends here, immediately“, he told the workers who were online. Now, seven days later, Garg has posted a one-page statement on the company’s website in which he apologizes for the way he carried out the layoffs, admits he was wrong in the way he did it, and acknowledges that he has not shown “the proper amount of respect and appreciation. “ by the workers he was putting out on the street, which shamed them and made the situation worse for some employees who were left without work on Christmas Eve. Despite everything, the layoffs continue.

Mass layoffs via video call meant leaving around 9% of the company’s workforce on the street. Those chosen were invited to a virtual meeting with the CEO and founder of the company in video conferencing by Zoom. According to the CNN network, Garg, who appeared seated and dressed informally, barely showed empathy for the fired, in front of whom he only cited the company’s productivity and results as the reason for his dismissal. “It’s the second time in my career that I’ve done this and I don’t want to do it. The last time I cried”, assured the executive about himself. The company, after spreading the news that 900 people were deprived of their jobs, justified the measure by the need to improve their financial situation “in a housing market in rapid and radical evolution”.

The scandal unleashed on social media with the layoffs forced Garg, 43, to issue a statement apologizing for having “made a mistake” in the way he carried out and communicated the measure; He guarantees that he learned that things cannot be done this way, without empathy, and acknowledged the contribution of his employees to the company’s growth. The note is addressed to employees who are still at the company (whom he calls for the next meeting), not those who are dismissed.

“I want to apologize for the way I handled layoffs last week,” the note begins. “I did not show due respect and appreciation to the people affected (…) I am responsible for the layoffs, but in reporting them I made a mistake and thereby shamed them. I know that the way I broke the news aggravated an already difficult situation. I am deeply sorry. I am determined to learn from this situation”, concludes the statement.

Garg was the protagonist of the magazine’s report forbes last year, in which he was portrayed as a volatile person and immersed in various legal battles over managing other companies as the financial technology company was preparing for an IPO. Among other things, the article mentioned an email he had sent to his workers in which it said, in capital letters, that they were “too slow”, called them “stupid dolphins” and claimed that they “shame him”. Better.com is valued at around 43 billion reais.

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